This ismy favourite piece of garden furniture this year. Made from polished concrete, it has a trough along the back and two smaller window boxes in place of the arms. I like the wittiness of it. You can plant it tidily, as here with a neatly trimmed box hedge and keep the design clean, or fill it with something wilder and more floral – geraniums or lavender – or even use it as a mini herb garden so you can sit in a pleasantly perfumed haze.
Where: Made in Design (020 7043 0835; www.madeindesign.co.uk)
How much: £1,247.62
Morris Seaweed Deckchair
Museums have been quick to jump on the shopping bandwagon, realising that their exhibitions alone might not be enough to pull the punters in. Their collections are becoming ever more sophisticated and these V&A deckchairs are bound to do the business. This classic chair, covered in John Henry Dearle’s seaweed wallpaper design,would look good in a garden that doesn’t have many flowers. In addition to the chairs, there are William Morris-inspired watering cans, as well as decorated trowels, secateurs and tape measures.
Where: Victoria and Albert Museum Shop (020-7942 2696; www.vandashop.com)
How much: £69
Ornate Moroccan Table
This pretty table has a wrought-iron base and a hand-engraved silver top, which comes off so you can use it as a large tray and pack it flat for storage as the legs fold flat as well. Of course, it would look great in the Moorish style garden, but actually the basic black and silver combination means it will work well in any outdoor space with either a jug of mint tea or Pimms resting on it.
Where: Garden Boutique (0121 224 7390 www.gardenboutique.co.uk)
How much: £125
Tam Tam Sgabello
These stylish stools are ideal for perching on at a bustling party with many unexpected guests. They’re made, as so much garden furniture is these days, from polyethylene, which means, you must all know by now, that they are totally weather proof so you can leave them out all year. Choose from orange, pink, white, green or blue/grey.
Where: Design Shop UK (0870 242 4128; www.designshopuk.com)
How much: £102
Made from ash, this is a generously-sized table that comes with a central gulley, which you can either use as a planter – fill it with salad plants or herbs for guests to assemble their own meals, or with ice and bottles of wine or beer. It would work equally well indoors filled with fruit, come to think of it, and if you need more space on the table, it comes with a replacement strut that neatly covers the hole.
Where: Saw It First (01625 876879; www.sawitfirst.co.uk)
How much: £425
Philippine Rattan Hammock
Slightly different from your run-of-the-mill hammock, this is a solid version that will perhaps be easier to get in and out of than the traditional material. For those that don’t have two conveniently placed trees it can be bought with a stand. It comes with clear instructions on how to hang it for maximum weight bearance, although – a note of caution – it only takes up to 14 stone.
Where: Hammock Heaven (020 8123 0557; www.hammockheaven.co.uk)
How much: £59.95 or £149 including stand
Louis Outdoor Range
Following the success of his Louis-lacquered tables, the designer John Reeve has come up with an outdoor version made from galvanised steel with a zinc finish. Choose from an elegant table and a bench or stools, which have moulded seats making them extra comfortable for your bottom.
Where: Heal’s (020 7636 1666; www.heals.co.uk)
How much : from £100
This French company makes a big range of garden furniture in a huge range of colours. This aluminium range was inspired by the furniture in the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris. There are about seven different shades of red and purple, six greens,someblues and the usual blacks, greys and browns. This Fermob range includes three tables and a choice of chair styles.
Where: Parterre Design (01273 476305; www.parterredesign. co.uk)
How much: from £335 for a table and £250 for a pair of chairs
Brunswick Sun Lounger
This rather stylish Homebase sun lounger, which is just begging you to daintily cross your ankles as you recline, is made from wicker effect. Now this used to put people off as it wasn’t the real deal, but now means it’s moreweather proof, so it’s a Good Thing. It comes with a mini adjustable headcushion for maximum ray-catching comfort.
Where: Homebase (0845 077 8888; www.homebase.co.uk)
How much: £119.99
Sarnoa Round Polyterra Set
Last year, the furniture set that everyone wanted was the Tico from Habitat, this year B&Q are aiming to take over with this simply-designed table and stool set. It’s clearly not built for lounging, but would suit the urban terrace very well and the pieces are light enough to move around the garden from sun to shade and vice versa.
Where: DIY (0845 609 6688; www.diy.com)
How much: £319.98
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